Ebb & Flow Week 3: June 17, 2015
June 17, 2015 | 2719 Views
To be or not to be…guided, that is.
That is the question I’ve had to ask myself after two full days of effortless smash-mouth fishing under the guidance of Carl Archibald, one of the members of the all-star guide team here at The Outpost. It’s not a question one need ponder here, however, seeing as all the fishing at this lodge is guided, which is a good thing. Best to entrust your well-being and success to experts who know every rock and shoal for miles around. Not only that, but the west side of Graham Island requires know-how that even we devoted self-guider types have to respect and appreciate. And we do. Besides, it’s paying off. We’ve all lost track of how many Chinook Salmon we’ve caught and released out at Three Rocks, just 10 minutes from the lodge.
Sadly, my lovely wife pulled up sick last week and suggested I find another fishing partner for this trip, so I called my long-time skiing buddy, Brad Portlock, at his rocky mountain home in Canmore, Alberta and made his day. Yesterday we told Carl we wanted to initiate a Halibut program, so we moved scarcely a thousand yards off Three Rocks and worked the ugly sticks for an amazing hour of catch and release Halibut fishing. Eventually we each got the size we were looking for, just a hair under the 133 centimeter limit, which general yields 35-40 pounds of fillets for the freezer. That said, we were both proud to be presented at dinner with the coveted Malcom DeMille designed pins for catching and releasing Halibut in excess of 150 pounds. Releasing a 150-pound Halibut was another tricky thing to do, but once again something that our man Carl is rather good at. What a blast!
And so it goes as June rolls along here at the home of the world’s best Salmon fishing. Similar stories up at Langara Island this week, as all guests are having no problems limiting out on Chinooks with lots to choose from, most of which are varying from mid teens to mid twenties. Tyees are rolling in with the top spot remaining at 42 pounds from North Island Lodge, as well as more and more Coho being caught. Long time NIL guest Greg Jessup up June 8 to 12, was quoted as saying “Best fishing we have experienced in 11 years, simply epic as our guide put it!”
Errol Olsen of the Absolute group would definitely agree with Greg, as he picked up a 40 this week fishing with North Island Lodge head guide DJ Shinduke (more evidence of the prudence of guided fishing) and then hit the dock with a 47-pound Halibut later in the day. The fish are plentiful enough that most guides switched to spoons and plugs to maximize time with lines down.
North Island guest Thomas Kenny had the ultimate encounter with local wildlife, losing a Salmon to a killer whale right beside the boat. New chef Liam Paul reportedly wowed the Absolute gang with seared duck breast with wild cherry glaze and fresh BC spot prawns a couple of nights ago, and then returned with his guitar to rock it up with guests who are apparently having the time of their lives. Meanwhile over at The Clubhouse, our man on the water, Screamer, (aka Mike Tonnesen) reported a wonderful stat – five tyees all caught by women anglers on the last trip – Lisa Stewart (37.5), Janis Gilchrist (34), Lisa Hudson (31), Clio De La Llave (30.5) and Merlyn Hough (30). Nice work ladies!
Fantastic weather all week too in northern Haida Gwaii. Here at The Outpost, we have been enjoying calm waters, lots of sunny periods and zero rain. The fishing action is mostly at Three Rocks, although some of the group headed to Tian yesterday and had good luck until sea lions laid claim to three fish at the expense of long-time regulars Stephen Swenson and Mike Dusterhoff. Not a rock dog to be seen anywhere else so life is good. Eric Caldwell was top angler last trip at The Outpost with a 36 at Three Rocks, and a couple of hogs were lost Monday afternoon in the bay three minutes out from the lodge.
Chefs Paul Moran and Stephanie Noel silenced the dining room last night with their presentation of Sablefish for the main course. Heads were down in slack-jawed reverence as we worked our way slowly through each tender morsel. Amazing fare, even by the always lofty culinary standards of The West Coast Fishing Club. Paul will be leaving with us on Friday on his way to Milan, Italy where he will compete against 19 other talented chefs under 30 years of age for the title of World’s Best Young Chef. His fan base grows with each trip. Not a bad Krud player either. If you’re wondering what Krud is, the best way to find out is to make your way to The Outpost one of these days where that time-honoured tradition endures on the second night of each trip. Great fun and a good mixer, that game is.
New and returning guests have been commenting on some of the great additions done to our properties during the offseason. The Clubhouse deck was expanded and rebuilt from the heli pad to the main entrance and the upper deck surrounding the lower hot tub, along with new furnishings inside throughout the upper and lower lounges. Over at North Island Lodge, the lounge was refurnished and the bar was remodeled creating a more inviting atmosphere for guests to saddle up and tell fish tales over an ice-cold beer. New chairs, tables and furnishing in the dining room are a welcome addition and being enjoyed by all.
The summer solstice is all but upon us and there is no better place to be on an endless evening than the helipad where the silhouetted view of Brock Island in the mouth of Port Louis is impossibly beautiful.
That’s it for this week friends, from the marine wilderness of Haida Gwaii.